When I was in high school, I had a wonderful government/American History teacher. He was also the newspaper adviser, and I was the sports editor. Mr. Puckett defined patriotism. He spent several years in a German POW camp, before escaping and joining up with Patton’s Third Army. He worshiped the ground Patton walked on, having also served under him at the battle of Tobruk, during the Africa Campaign. He was captured during the battle. He was there the day Patton slapped the guy in the hospital in Italy. He swore up and down that Patton was murdered by Bradley because he insulted Stalin. During this years of service, he was with Patton when they liberated Buchenwald and Ohrdruf.
What he saw literally destroyed the next thirty years of his life. He started drinking that night and did not stop until he finally did AA, during the early 1970s. His experience left him with a killer case of PTSD scars on his hands and wrists, and a knee that would go out from under him, quite frequently. We had a wonderful high school principal. I was fortunate enough to help him get his political start, years later, when he ran for his first office. Knowing Mr. P’s story, he allowed him to keep a large bottle of vodka on the bookshelf in his classroom. Everyone knew the story. There would be days when he would reach for the bottle, during class. He’s swear under his breath and reach into his pocket for his AA sobriety token. He’d put the bottle back, and survive another attack of inner demons.
Mr. P. loved American History. Heck, he lived it, was part of it, saw it first hand. He understood the high cost of freedom. He also loved the Constitution. Having survived alcoholism, and PTSD, he became quite a philosophical Christian. According to him, as Christians, we had a responsibility to insure that the United States maintained the Constitutional requirement of freedom from religion. He was the teacher who changed the course of my life. I am a political animal because of him. I am also a writer because of him.
The problem with the minions of the religious right and FOX brainwashed fans is that they don’t quite grasp the concept of FREEDOM FROM RELIGION. People have a Constitutional right not to have religion forced on them.
“…A federal judge in Utah has ruled that a member of a fundamentalist offshoot of the Mormon faith may refuse to answer questions in a child labor investigation as a result of the Hobby Lobby ruling on birth control.
The Sept. 11 decision by U.S. District Court Judge David Sam says Vergel Steed, who belongs to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), doesn’t have to comply with a federal subpoena because naming church leaders would violate his religious freedom.
As the basis for his conclusion, the judge cited Hobby Lobby decisions by the Supreme Court and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the Religious Freedom Restoration Act shields people from having to obey laws that substantially burden their religious practices….”
The godly Christians of the far right don’t seem to grasp the concept that everyone is allowed the same religious freedoms that they are. So, if they want prayer in school, they must allow Satanists to pass out literature about their religion. It’s called Freedom. If members of the armed forces do not want to swear ‘So Help me God’, well, they have a right not to do so.
Freedom’s a two way street. One thing Mr. Puckett taught me is, if you don’t want others controlling what religious information your child picks up in school, then it is far better to advocate for nothing religious other than a class on comparative religions.
This is what you get when demanding the country scrape and bow to YOUR religious requirements.